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Given the current economic crisis, many people
are filled with fear, anger, and resentment, which can easily spill over into
other areas of our lives. Millions have lost their homes, their jobs and
retirement savings and feel victimized and like they have lost control over
their lives.
 

As human beings, it is in our nature to want
to place blame on something or someone in order to cope with our feelings,
creating our grievance story. Anger and blame can be a way of feeling in
control, but in actuality, it really leaves us powerless. Some people are also
blaming themselves for their financial challenges thinking “if only I had
done this…” or, “I can’t believe I did that” or, “what was I
thinking?!!” This kind of blame only fuels our fear, anger and resentment
and deepens the negative charge we have around the problem.

So, how do we release the harmful feelings and
negativity around our financial circumstances?  

Forgiveness is a great tool for releasing negative thought and feelings which can
be toxic and counter-productive. We are all looking for peace; peace of mind,
body and spirit, right? In order to find it, it is very important to examine
what our own responsibility is in the situation and to own our role in it. Once
we have forgiven ourselves, it is easier to move forward to forgive others who
have hurt or harmed us. 

In her video, Beliefnet contributor Joan Borysenko says that forgiveness helps us to create
more empowerment, spaciousness and willingness to look at a larger point of
view. Another reason to forgive is that it’s good for you! According to author
and forgiveness expert Fred Luskin, there is now scientific evidence that
that  forgiveness can reduce anger, depression and stress, which
ultimately will improve your physical and emotional health.   
Here are some key points to keep in mind when working through your forgiveness
process.

1. Forgiveness is first and foremost for you. It is about taking back
your power so that you can see and receive the good around you.

2. Forgiveness allows you to shift your perspective on what is happening.
Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings and
thoughts that are plaguing you, not what offended or hurt you ten minutes — or
ten years — ago. Whether you are experiencing the loss of a job, your home or
retirement savings, this loss is the real issue, not who did it to you.
Grieving a loss is an important process in and of itself, but forgiveness is
the first step. Anger often denies us access to the pain of loss. Forgiveness
will help you clear the anger and resentment so that you can begin to feel the
loss.


3. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to make amends with the person.
They don’t even have to know because it’s not about them. Forgiveness offers
you the opportunity to be at peace with the situation. This can be as simple as
forgiving the investment company who managed your 401K, or Wall Street, or your
mortgage broker. Make a list and forgive them so that you can be free of this
energetically and emotionally.

4. Remember forgiveness is a process. It’s not always easy and it takes
time to heal. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to go through your own
process. I recommend writing a forgiveness letter to get your feelings on
paper. Through writing, you can express your feelings openly either directly to
the person or even to yourself. You do not have to give the letter to the
person you are forgiving, it is your own process for letting go and creating
your “forgiveness story.”

Ultimately, forgiveness is a step towards greater spiritual and emotional
expansion. It allows you to create the space for letting go of negativie
thoughts and feelings so that you can be free of the past and move forward to
create the next chapter of your life.

Here’s a wonderful prayer to assist you with this forgiveness process:

Oh Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love,
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born
To eternal life.

– St. Francis of Assisi

 

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